Vancouver Summer Program

 

The Vancouver Summer Program is a four-week academic program offered by The University of British Columbia. By participating in the program, you can take two academic courses at this world-renowned university while learning about Canadian practices and culture.

The School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) offers a variety of planning course packages that provide skills and knowledge in topics ranging from data analysis, GIS, and the art of negotiation to community engagement and the built environment. While learning about these topics, you have a chance to improve your English and explore Canadian culture and it’s beautiful west coast. In addition to interactive lectures and tours of the region, you can take part in a variety of social activities where you will meet students from other universities and UBC.

Please explore the course packages we are offering in summer 2020 below:
 

June 2020 Course Packages

Package A - Smart Cities: Big Data and New Technologies

Course 1 - Urban Big Data Analysis

With the advent of open data movement, knowledge and skills for collecting and analyzing big data become increasingly important for urban planners. This course will teach you how to harness the power of big data by mastering the way they are collected, organized, and analyzed to support better decision making in urban planning context. You willlearn the basic tools needed to manipulate large datasets derived from various open-data platforms, from data collection to storage and approaches to analysis. You will capture and build data structures, perform SQL and basic queries in order to extract key metrics and insights. In addition, you will learn how to use open-source programming tools, such as R and Python, to analyze and visualize the data. These statistical tools and methods will be complemented by machine learning and pattern detection techniques, in addition to new technologies for big data.

Course 2 - Spatial Analysis Using Geographic Information Systems

GIS technology sits at the intersection of the world around us and our incredible computing capabilities that allows us to investigate and visualizethat world in new and exciting ways. This course will introduce you to key concepts, methods, and tools used to collect, analyze, map, and visualize geospatial data. You will explore what makes spatial data special, some of the ways it is collected, and how it can be used to answer questions about the world around us. You will use geospatial data to help with decision making and to inform policy-making. You will use computer-based geographical methods of data input and analysis to model the world around them, to explore real-world scenarios, and present their findings to others. Practical applications will be investigated in both the natural and human realms through lectures, discussions, group exercises, and a hands-on computer lab component.

Package B - Citizen-Government Collaborations for Creating Better Cities: The Vancouver Experience

Course 1 - Case Studies of Citizen Participation in Significant Urban Projects

This course introduces students into how Vancouver’s citizens and civil society organizations have collaborated with elected officials and city administration on policies and programs to create a more equitable, inclusive and livable city. Leaders and volunteers from community groups that have influenced change in environmental, social and economic sphere will show how they have contributed to such benefits as improved transportation infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, expanded accessibility in public facilities and housing design for people with disabilities, enhanced public spaces and parks, increased protection for heritage buildings, and broadened recognition of the contributions of minority groups and new immigrants to the vitality and economic of the city. The course will include visits to significant urban sites and interactiveclasses in the working spaces of community groups. This course will appeal to students with a wide range of interdisciplinary backgrounds.

Course 2 - Smartphone City: Using Digital Techniques to Record and Publicize Vancouver’s Development Milestones

This course will introduce students to the basics of short-video production using just their smartphones. Teams of students will shoot and edit 5-to-7-minute videos of specific, well-known cases studies in real-estate development, economic development, infrastructural planning, urban design, and social planning that represent milestones in the history of the City of Vancouver. On field trips, students will visit specific Vancouver sites, interviewing key stakeholders, and conducting archival research with a view to building short, engaging, digital stories that raise questions about how communities engage with city authorities, and how to visualize and present ideas convincingly in the visual medium. Along the way, students will experience Vancouver’s museums, sample its foods, and understand the history of its social fabric and architecture. The course will presume no prior knowledge of filming and editing and is focused on developing introductory skills.

July 2020 Course Packages

Package A - Smart Cities:Big Data and New Technologies

Course 1 - Urban Big Data Analysis

With the advent of open data movement, knowledge and skills for collecting and analyzing big data become increasingly important for urban planners. This course will teach you how to harness the power of big data by mastering the way they are collected, organized, and analyzed to support better decision making in urban planning context. You will learn the basic tools needed to manipulate large datasets derived from various open-data platforms, from data collection to storage and approaches to analysis. You will capture and build data structures, perform SQL and basic queries in order to extract key metrics and insights. In addition, you will learn how to use open-source programming tools, such as R and Python, to analyze and visualize the data. These statistical tools and methods will be complemented by machine learning and pattern detection techniques, in addition to new technologies for big data.

Course 2 - Spatial Analysis Using Geographic Information Systems

GIS technology sits at the intersection of the world around us and our incredible computing capabilities that allows us to investigate and visualize that world in new and exciting ways. This course will introduce you to key concepts, methods, and tools used to collect, analyze, map, and visualize geospatial data. You will explore what makes spatial data special, some of the ways it is collected, and how it can be used to answer questions about the world around us. You will use geospatial data to help with decision making and to inform policy-making. You will use computer-based geographical methods of data input and analysis to model the world around them, to explore real-world scenarios, and present their findings to others. Practical applications will be investigated in both the natural and human realms through lectures, discussions, group exercises, and a hands-on computer lab component.

Package B - Negotiation and Behaviour Change in the 21st Century

Course 1 - The Art of Negotiation

Managing conflict is an essential part of any professional career. Professionals must work to find consensus when stakeholder interests’ diverge or conflict. Failure to reach agreements can be costly for all involved. In contrast, lasting agreements are those in which valueis created, the process is fair, and the relationships are maintained or enhanced. This course will prepare students to be more effective negotiators. Students will learn about negotiations and managing conflict through experiential exercises. Through the use the role-plays or negotiation games, students will learn about themselves, how they respond to conflict, and strategies to work through these conflicts. The exercises will be key to illustrate the relevance of negotiation theory, strategies for conflict management, and best practices.

Course 2 - Citizen Engagement for Behaviour Change: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Cities increasingly adopt information and communication technologies to offer optimal services, promote sustainability, climate resilience, innovation, and ultimately create smart cities. Smart cities rely on information/real-time feedback to help citizens make better decisions. However, individual and social factors influence how we use information and make decisions. In this course we cover concepts in decision sciences and use experiments to understand decision-making and citizen engagement that depend on citizens’ mutual learning, trust and reciprocity (the good), can be affected by behavioural biases (the bad), and manipulated by interested groups (the ugly). Through active exercises, we address opportunities and challenges to improve citizen engagement while preventing the perils of malfunctioning and manipulation of public participation, especially in large, modern and fast-growing cities.

Package C - Multiculturalism and the City

Course 1 - Cultural Industries in Vancouver: The Once-Secret Life of Family Food

This course is aimed at stimulating student interest in a range of careers: business/marketing, economic development, community planning, hospitality, photography and media studies, anthropology, history and heritage conservation, computer programming, and social advocacy. By going ‘behind the scenes’ at restaurants and family food businesses in Vancouver, students will discover how family recipes get handed down over the generations and become a selling point for the city’s bespoke food industry. Students will research the city’s multicultural history of foods as social enterprise, family histories, photographically document food culture, and identify creative, successful, business practices. The instructor has several years’ experience with teaching material cultural analysis to MBA students in business school. Students will collaboratively design the template for a free, web-based HTML guide to Vancouver’s family food businesses, in consultation with Tourism Vancouver.

Course 2 - Past, Present and Future: Building from Vancouver’s Multicultural Planning History

Vancouver’s residents are comprised of different communities made up of different religions, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. More than 40% of Vancouver residents were born in another country. These communities have shaped and transformed Vancouver’s social fabric, the local economy, and the built form of the city. In this course, students will connect issues such as urban development, gentrification, re-zoning, community-action projects, global immigration, and sustainability agendas with the ongoing evolution of intercultural understanding and multicultural cosmopolitanism in Vancouver. Through site visits to key locations throughout the city such as Chinatown, Stanley Park, Olympic Village and the False Creek Flats, students will unpack the diverse and complex history of the communities who contribute to city building processes in Vancouver. This course will include both classroom theory and lectures, as well as site visits with student reflection and discussion in the field.

 


Learn more

Please visit the program’s website for more information, including costs and how to register.
 

Comments from past students' experiences on the Vancouver Summer Program:

  • The program was overall a nice experience, I learned not just academically, but also personally.
  • Fantastic!
  • This is a very precious experience.
  • It was just the right kind of experience I wanted to have studying abroad; it was like a vacation but with a purpose, that purpose being learning new things.
  • It’s unforgettable for me to spend this summer holiday studying in one of the most outstanding universities all over the world with such a group of nice classmates!

 

Contact information

If you have any questions about our courses, please contact:

Simon Erlich

Student Development Officer
West Mall Annex Room 127
1933 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Phone:  604-822-5725

Email:  simon.erlich@ubc.ca